How the Customer Wants to be Treated, Honestly.

How the Customer Wants to be Treated, Honestly.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

To be the best salesperson in the world (and I hope you think you are), listening is as important a factor as exists. So I started calling people who buy and asked them what they want salespeople to do. How they want sales people to act. What they want salespeople to say (or not say).

Unless you’re an order taker, the way you treat (handle) a prospect will determine how often you get the order.

And a sale is always made either you sell the prospect on yes
or the prospect sells you on no.

Here is a list of what customers want from salespeople direct from their mouths. In a nutshell, they are saying, “Here’s how I want to be sold.” How many items on this list can you say you fulfill each time you present your product or service? These customer requests will help you to get yes more often. If you use them in combination, you will have more power to build a relationship and close a sale.

Here’s what your customers have to say about how they want you to act:

  • Just give me the facts I don’t want a long drawn out spiel. After you get to know me a little, get to the point.
  • Tell me the truth, and don’t use the word honestly. It makes me nervous. If you say something I doubt or I know not to be true, you’re out.
  • I want an ethical salesperson Did someone say honest lawyer? Salespeople often get bum raps because of a few without ethics. Your actions will prove your ethics, not your words. (The salespeople who talk ethics usually are without them.)
  • Give me a good reason why this product/service is perfect for me If I need what you’re selling, I need to understand how it benefits me to buy it.
  • Show me some proof I’m more likely to buy if you can prove what you say. Show me an article in print reinforcing my confidence, or confirming my decision. (The buyer is saying, I don’t believe most salespeople they lie just like we do.)
  • Show me I’m not alone. Tell me about a similar situation where someone like me succeeded. I don’t want to be the first or the only. I need to know how it (or you) has worked elsewhere. I will have a lot more confidence if I know of someone else like me or with the same situation as me who purchased and likes it or did well with it.
  • Show me a letter or video from a satisfied customer One testimonial has more strength than a hundred salesman.
  • Tell me and show me you will serve me after you sell me I have bought a lot of empty service promises.
  • Tell me and show me the price is fair I want reassurance the price I’m paying is worth what I’m buying. Make me feel like I’m getting a deal.
  • Show me the best way to pay If I can’t afford to pay, but I want what you’ve got, give me alternatives.
  • Give me a choice and let me decide, but make a consultative recommendation tell me what you would honestly (hey, if I can’t say it neither can you) do if it was your money.
  • Reinforce my choice I may be nervous I’ll make the wrong choice. Help me reinforce my choice with facts that will benefit me and make me feel more confident to buy.
  • Don’t argue with me Even if I’m wrong, I don’t want some smart-ass salesman telling me or proving I am. He may win the argument, but he’ll lose the sale.
  • Don’t confuse me The more complicated it is, the less likely I am to buy.
  • Don’t tell me negative things I want everything to be great. Don’t say bad things about someone else (especially competition), about yourself, your company or me.
  • Don’t talk down to me Salespeople think they know everything, and think I’m stupid. Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear. I’m so dumb I think I’ll buy from someone else.
  • Don’t tell me what I bought or do is wrong I want to feel smart and good about what I did. Be tactful if I goofed, show me how others goofed too.
  • Listen to me when I talk I’m trying to tell you what I want to buy, and you’re too busy trying to sell me what you’ve got. Shut up and listen.
  • Make me feel special If I’m going to spend my money, I want to feel good about it. It all hinges on your words and actions.
  • Make me laugh Put me in a good mood and I’m more likely to buy.
  • Take an interest in what I do It may not be important to you, but it’s everything to me.
  • Be sincere when you tell me things I can tell if you’re being phony, just to get my money.
  • Don’t use a bunch of time worn sales techniques to pressure me to buy when I don’t want to Don’t sound like a salesman. Sound like a friend. Someone trying to help me.
  • Deliver me what you sell me when you say you will. If I give you my business and you disappoint me, it’s unlikely I’ll do business with you again.
  • Help me buy don’t sell me I hate being sold, but I love to buy.

I have given you 26 statements made by buyers about how they like to be sold. Take another 10 minutes to review how many you incorporate into your sales presentation and philosophy of selling.

The buyer has the ultimate weapon against your inability he or she can just say no. They also have the ultimate weapon for doing it right their pen.

Imagine the nerve of our customers and prospects wanting all this stuff. Don’t they know we’re busy? And why don’t they return our damn phone call anyway. Next week we’ll find out how the salesperson wants to be treated by a customer.

Don’t use a bunch of time worn sales techniques to pressure me to
buy when I don’t want to.


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